David Gifford

Nursing homes entered a new era of tougher government scrutiny on Feb. 23, when officials released rebased Five Star ratings. 

Nearly one-third of the nation’s skilled nursing facilities lost a rating star due to purely administrative changes, causing an outcry from the provider community.

Regulators added to providers’ concern by telling a media gathering the same day that more quality measures will be added next year — and another round of Five Star scores rebasing should take place.

Providers were flummoxed at the idea that Five Star ratings would again be unfit for historical comparisons next year. “Every time it will make the system before not valid,” one critic noted.

“It’s fair to say we want a more frequent process [of recalibrating thresholds] over time,” noted CMS Director of Survey and Certification Thomas Hamilton. n

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